5 Factors that make for Comfortable, Long-lasting Shoes.

I’ve found that the most durable & comfortable shoes have/are:

•  Leather (upper, lining, & sometimes soles)
A leather exterior is going to be easier (in comparison to other materials like suede/fabric) to keep clean, therefore extending the life of the shoe. Most shoes with leather linings feel nice against the skin & also offer a bit of “breathability”. Leather soles are a nice touch, although, I personally prefer rubber for better endurance & traction. I’ve noticed that leather soles get “scruffed down” with constant wear, and most often calls for replacement at a cobbler.
When looking for quality, comfy shoes, I try to avoid “Man-made/Synthetic Materials”. Leather is king; vero, nappa, & nubuck are especially nice!

•  Bend
How much flexibility does the shoe have between the toe box & the remainder of the shoe?
If a shoe doesn’t “flex” easily back & forth in my hands, I know it won’t on my foot; and the resulting walk will be stiff & uncomfortable. So…when purchasing new shoes, before even trying them on, I’ll take one (holding it; 1 hand around the front edge & the other just behind the toe box) and gently bend it back & forth. If it doesn’t budge, it usually goes back on the shelf or into the shipping box.

• Footbeds
Padded, plush & form-fitted.

•  Imported
These shoes are stamped with “Made in Brazil”, “Made in Spain”, Made in Portugal”, “Made in Italy”…you get the idea. When I find a comfy/quality shoe that says “Made in China”, I’ll do a blog post. I’m sure they exist.

•  A Higher Price Tag
Like with everything, we will pay a little bit more for quality.
After wearing terrible/cheap/”throw-away” shoes for years (& beginning to develop foot pains as a result), I began to see shoes as investments. Not having to sacrifice comfort to “break in” new shoes is worth paying the extra moolah in my book. That doesn’t mean, bargains & steals aren’t out there, because they are! We just have to keep our eyes peeled, because they sell out at the speed of a mouse click.

What makes a comfortable & long-lasting shoe for you? 


  1. Tobi says

    Great post! I totally agree–I used to go ‘cheap’ with shoes (especially while I was raising my son). But I discovered that the better quality shoes were actually more comfortable and worth the cost. However, I don’t pay full-price. My favorite shoe brand is Cole Haan, which it a bit out of my price range, but I buy them on sale, clearance, and from sites such as Ebay.

  2. says

    Great post! In NYC, it’s good to have cute shoes, but if they aren’t comfortable than you will never want to wear them! :)



  3. says

    I’ve been on the search for long lasting shoes for a while and thinking of upgrading from my usual $60-100 pairs. What price point do you think – for instance flats or heels should be that makes them longer lasting? Or what brands would you recommend?

    • MerelyMarie says

      Hi Molly,

      It’s hard to say.

      Generally $140 – $200, minimum. Of course, they could go much higher. But, I have purchased shoes (under $100) & gotten 4-5 years of wear out of them. It really depends on the materials & individual craftsmanship of the shoe.

      I’d love to recommend brands, but I don’t think I own 2 pairs of any single brand. Except Nicole. Unfortunately, their quality has gone down over the years (no longer Made in Brazil). If I had to repurchase from any brand right now, I’d definitely consider Hispanitas, and John Fluevog. So, I suppose I’d recommend those two.

      Though I don’t own any pairs from the following brands (yet), I’d love to pick up a few from: Coclico, Butter, and Anyi Lu.

      Hope this helps you. Thanks for inquiring! :)

  4. Susan Bhat says

    Hi! Just was searching for recommendations for longlasting shoes and found your website, nice post.
    Unfortunately, Fluevog shoes, which used to be exceptional in quality and long-lasting-ness, (I have several pairs I bought about 10 years ago and they are in excellent shape), are now being made in China and they fall apart quickly. NOT recommended.

    • MerelyMarie says

      Hi Susan! :) I’m sorry to hear that. I purchased my first pair of Fluevogs last year, and they’re still going strong.

      Thanks for commenting!